Future Perfect is one of those perfect records that is impossible to follow up. It probably flirts on my shortlist of all-time favorites. So it’s no surprise that Transit Transit, Autolux’s follow-up is a slight disappointment, especially after a six-year hiatus by the band. The album is book-ended by its strongest tracks, the title track and the brilliant closer, “The Science of Imaginary Solutions.” I remember anticipating the latter track for years after watching it performed live at the Museum of Natural History in a shitty-quality YouTube recording. The studio version is definitely a highlight of the record.
I also saw Autolux play some of these new songs live at Johnny Brenda’s last summer in Philly, and most of them seemed to underwhelm, compared to tracks they played off of Future Perfect. And that underwhelming nature continues with the release of the studio versions. Lead singer/bassist Eugene Goreshter’s vocals, which were absolutely mesmerizing on Future Perfect, seem to suffer a creative setback; and he’s even become a cliche of himself on “Supertoys.” All three members of Autolux sing on the record, and vocals by guitarist Greg Edwards (ex Failure) and drummer Carla Azar are a welcome change from Goreshter’s formulaic delivery.
All of this may hint at why the album may have suffered delays which echo that of Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. We’ve been told Azar’s shattered elbow and label troubles were the main culprits, but results on par with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot are not here and do not make up for the eternal holdup. This album may be an initial disappointment, but continuing to explore some of the more challenging and original songs will bring new elements to light on subsequent listens. With all of that said, this is still one of the best albums in a somewhat weak year for indie releases. You can listen to a stream of the entire album below via SoundCloud: